Emissions from fossil fuels, animal agriculture, and other human activities are warming the earth and causing major changes to our climate and planet.
*The mix of gases in the atmosphere regulates our planet’s temperature. These gases determine how much heat from the sun stays on the planet, and how much returns into space. Carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse gases” have a heating effect. They act as a blanket, warming the globe. For the past 12,000 years, this greenhouse gas blanket has kept the earth at relatively stable temperatures that have enabled the growth of our global civilization and massive population. Over the last few centuries, as we have burned fossil fuels and cut down trees en masse, we have pumped huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. This has effectively thickened our atmospheric blanket, and increased the planet’s average surface and ocean temperatures. The earth has warmed roughly 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit since the industrial revolution. Two thirds of that warming has occurred in the past few decades.
*This is consensus knowledge. It has been understood that carbon dioxide causes warming since 1859! The American Association for the Advancement of Science described the consensus thusly:
This agreement is documented not just by a single study, but by a converging stream of evidence over the past two decades from surveys of scientists, content analyses of peer-reviewed studies, and public statements issued by virtually every membership organization of experts in this field.In fact, there is no national science academy or atmospheric science organization that rejects the science of human-caused climate change.
- Bill Nye’s 4 minute video “Climate 101”:
- 1Sky’s “The Basics of Climate Change” Page
- An excellent 20-page introduction to climate change: The Association for the Advancement of Science’s report “What We Know”
- For a more thorough overview of the mechanics of climate change: The Rough Guide to Climate Change
- NASA’s Consensus Page
- Cook et al. (2013) Paper: Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature
- United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Fifth Assessment Synthesis Report (2014). [summary]
- Naomi Oreskes, Harvard professor and author of “Merchants of Doubt" gives an outstanding hour long talk on the factors that have caused “American Denial of Global Warming”:
- William Hewitt’s 2012 article in the Scientific American, “Do you accept the science of Climate Change?”
- Skeptical Science: Getting skeptical about global warming skepticism